Entropian Surgery in dogs and cats is performed at the Findon Vet Surgery and the Seaton Vet Centre, Adelaide.
Entropian is a painful condition affecting the eyelids of dogs, and less commonly, cats. In entropian, the edge of the eyelid rolls inward, towards the surface of the eye where the small hairs and eyelashes of the eyelid margin rub against the sensitive cornea. The trauma caused by the inverted eyelid results in corneal ulceration, corneal scarring and corneal pigmentation - if left untreated, the eye may perforate in extreme cases.
Initially pet owners note an excessive amount of watery tears that leave the cheek permanently wet and dark staining of the cheek hair. Squinting is also usually
noticed, or rubbing of the face with the paws or on the floor. It may be difficult to even see the actual eye, and yellow and green discharge then indicates secondary bacterial infection. The pain can make the pet snappy, especially if it feels threatened (with pain) if someone goes to pat its head region.
Entropian is a congenital disorder, and is more prevelent in short snouted breeds (brachycephalic dogs and cats) because the inner eyelid ligaments are shorter and pull the lids inward. Many pets may not actually have entropian but are predisposed...on-the-brink... and may suddenly develop entropian if they get a foreign body in their eye or suddenly rub the eye due to an allergy. The swelling triggered by this sudden inflammation can be the final straw that causes the edge of the lid to invert just that bit more to start rubbing on the cornea. Once this starts. the additional pain and inflammation causes the patient to squint, which actively forces the eyelids to invert more. This spasming causes a "Spastic" entropian, and may sometimes be successfully treated with eye medications and
However, MOST dog entropian cases require eyelid surgery. This delicate operation removes a thin strip of eyelid skin, the depth, width and length being dependent on the severity and extent of the entropian present. Common mistakes where too much skin is removed (causing permanent everted red conjuntiva) or not enough (entropian is not repaired) are often seen with inexperienced surgeons. Great care is required.
At the Findon and Seaton Vets, we commonly perform this procedure and with excellent results, even in the most severe cases (often involving the Shar pei, or Shar pei crosses). In cats, Persians suffer entropians the most.
If you suspect your pet has entropian or have had it diagnosed, we would be pleased to assess and give an estimate for the entropian repair.